Norwegian munition manufacturer Nammo revealed at Eurosatory that it is developing a ramjet-assisted, INS/GPS-guided round for 155 mm L52 artillery pieces that will extend the range of precision fires out to 100 km and beyond.
Presenting the concept at the show on 12 June, Thomas Danbolt, Nammo’s vice-president for large-calibre ammunition programmes, noted that an artillery system with a 100 km range could effectively cover an area of 31,415 km 2 , offering much more versatility and perhaps transforming the way artillery batteries can be employed in theatre.
Nammo’s new 155 mm round is built around a compact solid-fuel ramjet that is initiated after the round is fired. The project is a collaborative effort between ammunition and rocket engineers within Nammo, who have already established an air-breathing test facility and gun pressure test cell within the company. They are now in the process of conducting combustor tests and performance evaluations, developing a high-performance intake for the round, and sourcing high-performance subsystems.
Also presenting at Eurosatory, Erland Orbekk, Nammo’s vice-president for new technology within its aerospace propulsion business, said that a projectile flight demonstration of the ramjet-assisted round was planned for 2019/20, with the ammunition planned to enter service around the 2023/24 timeframe.
He also mentioned the development of a ramjet-powered missile, a flight demonstration of which is planned for 2021.
Danbolt conceded that there was “no set-in-stone firm requirement” for the ramjet-assisted ammunition thus far, but when asked if the concept was therefore purely company funded, he replied, “So far it is, but that may change.”
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